Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More Glacier!

After the excitement of July 4th, the kiddos slept in pretty late and then we headed back into Whitefish.  A friend of mine lives there and I wanted to take her out for her birthday to the restaurant we didn't get to go to the last time I visited.  I brought the kiddos along for the ride to the restaurant, where we could see the lake where we had watched the fireworks the night before:

 And the view was incredible:

The kids hung out at the nature center for a while before they headed back to town:
 And Jenn and I got a chance to catch up, and catch the beargrass in bloom:

 It was a gorgeous day up top and the food wasn't bad either
 When we headed back we took a short hike to the village center to help plan our next day.  By short I of course mean short in distance and long in time as the kids were interested in everything:
 And came back to our site for a campfire dinner:
 Unfortunately about halfway through, the skies opened, the rain poured and there was a little bit of hail.  Once I rescued dinner and the fire I snuck away to the lake to catch the sunset.

 Earlier in the day when we were in town we had run into one of James' coworkers.  She joined us for the campfire and gave us lots of good tips about planning the next day.  Unfortunately, the best laid plans fall apart when your kiddos sleep in, the trailhead parking lot is crazy full, as well as the buses.  The west side where we were is the busier side so after we couldn't get to the trailhead we decided to head over the pass again and check out the other side of the park.  There were lots of rivers to check out:
 And wildflowers:
 And the views weren't half bad:

 Going to the Sun road is about 50 miles and speeds rarely top 40 mph.  It makes for a good day but a lot of car time.  The snow and two tunnels provided excitement for the kids and of course driving through the waterfall.
And of course the kiddos wanted to splash, touch and play, which is admittedly hard in Glacier considering:

Which is frightening as there have been 2 deaths in the past week on trails I want to go on for our next visit :/  With lots of supervision Catherine got to touch a "waterfall"
Matthew was a bit more cautious and just wanted to hang out with me, which I'll take:
And more wildflowers:
We ended up taking most of the day to travel the road, stopping a lot for short walks and gorgeous views.

More water:
with views:
And this guy right off the trail:
We stopped at Sunrise gorge where the water comes down this narrow gap:
And then takes this odd 90 degree turn:

As we headed into Many Glacier we just missed one grizzly but ended up fairly close to this one along the road.  Unfortunately it was close enough I was uncomfortable being out of the car and I didn't put on my tele lens.  Either way, it was cool as always:
Views from Many Glacier.  A storm was heading in as we were going to take a hike with the kiddos (both napping on our backs) so we opted for just the car tour of the area.
But we did see this guy down the hill:
On the way back James humored my photography/wildflower attempts and requests to stop.  Here's some lupine:
As the sun was setting we enjoyed the alpenglow which I didn't catch, but it did give me a chance to play with my exposure settings and

We saw this guy up on Logan Pass.  Apparently his name is "King" and he's the most aggressive at the park.
But these guys stole the show.  First there was this guy near the boardwalk:
And this gal along the boardwalk:
And someone offered to take a family pic at the overlook:
Where we met these guys on the boardwalk on the way back:
And then I fell in love with this guy:
And a short mountain goat jam:
And more of the baby:
A family shot:
Exciting faults:
Fun playing with the sun:
The river below is where the road starts out:
Another harrowing section of the road:

As we were driving the indian paintbrush were gorgeous, but due to sunlight and construction there were none to be found at any of the pullouts, until James spotted these:  I had one heck of a time balancing the lighting, but it was exciting nonetheless:
One last stop along the river:
Where the kids did some "silly running"

And hugs with daddy:
And here's the inside peek of our camper and its chaos.  This shot is taken from our end of the camper.  Normally the kiddos start sleeping seperately and then I move them both to the same side where Matthew is.  The suitcases sit where the sink theoretically goes.  Since we mostly camp in grizzly country we've figured out both the sink and stove just took up space so we removed them.
And looking from Matthew's side to ours:
It's a tiny camper but perfect for us.  The bed Catherine is standing near becomes our seating/table area, perfect for rainy afternoons and games of cribbage, but it's easiest for sleeping when we leave it down.   One last breakfast before we hit the road:
While we were at the big pig roast, we discovered one of Dad's cousins has a house about halfway between Glacier and Bozeman so we stopped in to say hi and the kiddos tried playing some games with their cousins:
After a great visit we headed back home for a week of annual check ups, errands and just hanging out.  We really pushed the kids on the amount of carseat time and they did awesome, however James and I were definitely exhausted after answering Matthew's 50 billion questions.  Inspired by big brother, Catherine has also started asking "why?" so it's always a good time in our car and I've explained things I never ever thought I would. 

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